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Darling Magazine http://darlingmagazine.org The Art of Being a Woman Thu, 27 Nov 2014 13:00:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 Hymn of Gratitude http://darlingmagazine.org/hymn-gratitude/ http://darlingmagazine.org/hymn-gratitude/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Natalie Wise http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20769 I do not know why pears choose to ripen this time of year But I am grateful. I do not know how far the church bells carry or if they...

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POEM2

I do not know why pears choose to ripen this time of year
But I am grateful.
I do not know how far the church bells carry or if they like their song
But I am grateful.
I do not know where the stars lay their heads when they get tired
But I am grateful.

I am grateful for hands in mine and for feathers in nests
And even still I am grateful for letting go and flying.
I am grateful for the dawn of spring and cloudless skies
And even still I am grateful for snowshoes and silver linings.

I do not know the weight of time or the texture of happiness
But even still I am grateful because
This year I have learned that loving is brave
And being loved is even braver.

See this I know for certain:
That being brave is one of the most beautiful things
A heart could spend a lifetime doing
Here in this someday nervous world
Hoping for a heaven.

Image via Michelle Johnson Photography

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Lavender Dry Shampoo DIY http://darlingmagazine.org/lavender-dry-shampoo-diy/ http://darlingmagazine.org/lavender-dry-shampoo-diy/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:00:31 +0000 Heather Crosby http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20563 As a woman with fine hair, the second I tried dry shampoo I was swooning. Not only was the oil gone, but my hair’s texture was the stuff of dreams....

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As a woman with fine hair, the second I tried dry shampoo I was swooning. Not only was the oil gone, but my hair’s texture was the stuff of dreams. Dry shampoo is a lifesaver for busy women, active women, and women who prefer the way their hair looks a day (or three) after a shampoo.

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If you aren’t familiar with dry shampoo, picture yourself running late to meet your girlfriends for dinner post-yoga and sans shower. Or, throwing in that top-knot before work and the sides are looking a little too slick to be safe. With dry shampoo you not only dry out the oil and add fabulous texture to your hair in minutes, but you save some water, too.

However, we don’t need to use chemicals to dry up oil and get that gorgeous volume.

Our skin is our largest organ — what it comes in contact with (pollution, chemical cleaners, beauty products, fragrance) eventually makes its way into our bloodstream and can manifest as acne, mood swings, thyroid issues, developmental and reproductive harm, autoimmune disease and even cancer. Most beauty and personal care products on the market, including our beloved dry shampoos, contain known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and other toxins, so skip the chemical-laden dry shampoos and make your own out of a few ingredients so safe you can eat them. And they smell so good that you’ll want to.

… so skip the chemical-laden dry shampoos and make your own out of a few ingredients so safe you can eat them.

Making your own beauty products is empowering and easier than you may think. It’s also a commitment to being accountable for your health, and it’s a way you can connect a bit more not only with yourself, but also with those you gift with homemade goodies (hint, hint).

All you need to make your own dry shampoo is a container (an empty salt shaker, a recycled seasoning jar with a shaker top, a store-bought shaker, or a glass jar with a lid) and a large makeup brush to apply. Feel free to double or triple these amounts to fill the container you’ll be storing it in.

Lavender Scented Dry Shampoo (Light Hair)
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder (aka arrowroot flour or arrowroot starch)
7–8 drops of lavender essential oil

Lavender Scented Dry Shampoo (Dark Hair)
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon of cocoa (or raw cacao) powder
7–8 drops of lavender essential oil

YU_Darling_Arrowroot_Cocoa_Mixed

For extra drying and texture power (even though arrowroot is already super absorbent), you can add ½–1 tsp of white Kaolin clay to each formula. You can also use any essential oils you like to scent your shampoo. Try:

  • Rosemary + Vanilla
  • Vetiver + Rose
  • Vanilla + Mint
  • Orange, Lemon + Vanilla
  • Rosemary, Cedar + Vetiver (a very handsome combination that would also work well for the men in your life)

To apply:
There are a few ways to apply dry shampoo. Try each to see what works best for you.

  1. Using a shaker, either put some shampoo into the palm of your hands, rub together and apply to oily parts of your hair close to the scalp, or tap shampoo directly into the parts that need some love. Pat down and use fingers to tousle and if necessary, use a brush or comb on hair until all the powder is absorbed.
  2. I like to use a makeup brush for application because it gives me great control. Just dip brush into powder, tap the extra off and dab the oily parts of your hair close to the scalp. Tousle, brush, and pat until hair is looking clean and oil-free.

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Concerned about other chemicals that may be lurking in your beauty routine? Visit the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Care Database to see how your beauty products hold up when it comes to safety.

Images via Heather Crosby

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Kale, Pear + Hazelnut Salad http://darlingmagazine.org/kale-pear-hazelnut-salad/ http://darlingmagazine.org/kale-pear-hazelnut-salad/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:00:21 +0000 barre3 http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20391 The tahini dressing combined with the hazelnuts gives this salad a healthy combo of fats and protein. The kale, cranberries and pear also serve as great sources of fiber. We...

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Kale & Pear Salad

The tahini dressing combined with the hazelnuts gives this salad a healthy combo of fats and protein. The kale, cranberries and pear also serve as great sources of fiber. We especially love to whip this up in the fall when the pears are perfectly ripe.

Kale, Pear + Hazelnut Salad with Maple-Tahini Dressing
Serves 4

Ingredients:
¼ cup tahini
2 Tbsp. rice-wine vinegar
2 tsp. white miso
3 tsp. pure maple syrup
2 scallions, minced (white and light-green parts only)
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
¼ cup water
½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed and cut into bite-size pieces (about 5-6 cups)
¼ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1 large pear, halved, cored, and sliced very thinly
Ground pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Prepare the dressing by whisking all the first seven ingredients (tahini through water) together until smooth. This works best with an immersion blender or food processor. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Set aside.

2. Place chopped hazelnuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Place the kale in a large salad bowl. Pour half the dressing over the kale and lightly massage the dressing into the leaves with your hands. Once the leaves are tender, toss in the remainder of the ingredients. Drizzle with the leftover dressing. Season to taste with ground pepper and enjoy!

Want more from barre 3? Enter promo code barre3Darling at barre3.com/redeem for 30 days of free access to seasonal recipes and hundreds of online workouts. (Code valid for new subscribers only.)

Image via barre3

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R&R at Chicago’s Cowshed Spa http://darlingmagazine.org/rr-at-chicago-cowshed/ http://darlingmagazine.org/rr-at-chicago-cowshed/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:00:53 +0000 Maritza Buelvas http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20756 It may sound cliché, but taking a personal breather at the spa can really serve to clear one’s mind and alleviate exhaustion on all levels. As a mother of two...

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It may sound cliché, but taking a personal breather at the spa can really serve to clear one’s mind and alleviate exhaustion on all levels. As a mother of two young boys, treating myself to a spa moment is not only spiritually rewarding, but beneficial as I’m better able to carry on with daily responsibilities as a mother and wife.

I recently had the chance to experience the relatively new Cowshed Spa, nestled inside design-splendor, Soho House Chicago. Cowshed’s unique spa space is utterly inviting — boasting both a luxurious feel and down-home charm.

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Offering signature facials and massages alongside a plethora of personal grooming services and products — the spa and its staff are superbly inviting. Cowshed is distinctly different than other spas as it provides opportunities for both relaxation and socialization. Products are derived from natural plant oils, proteins, essential fatty acids and vitamins, containing a high ratio of premium quality essential oils renowned for their therapeutic benefits.

Being treated to their signature Cowshed Facial was the ultimate in mind-body relaxation. The slow and appeasing introduction of facial services really helped me settle into some me time and get re-acquainted with my skin. Personalized and precise, my facial began with a proper skin analysis to evaluate my needs. My facialist then designed a relaxing cleanse, steam experience and non-irritating exfoliation treatment.

I made a “Note To Self that I needed to do this more often while receiving a hand and shoulder massage at the end of my hour-long facial treatment.

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Aside from recommending fantastic Cowshed products tailor made for my skin, my facialist also provided this insanely awesome, at-home DIY spa tip:

Take two cotton squares and soak them in eucalyptus oil. Next, warm them in a warming towel caddy (a great spa device to keep at home — great for colds, everyday aches and relaxation) and lay them over the eyes to soothe tension and help fight fatigue. Another great tip is to store a stash of the same pre-made soaked cotton squares in the fridge and have them ready for cooling-relief or at your fingertips for warming.

(Personal tip: A warming towel caddy would make a great Christmas gift! Until I get mine, I’m going to be using my son’s extra baby wipe warmer.)

Christina Russillo, Director of Cowshed, offered another unique beauty tip of combining your facial oil and night cream to combat dry winter skin. Her favorites are the Raspberry Seed facial oil and the Rose Replenishing night cream.

I had the chance to talk a bit further with Christina about the history of Cowshed and what women love most about it.

Darling Magazine: Can you tell us about Cowshed’s spa principles and the story behind its name?

Christina Russillo: Cowshed was founded in the English countryside in 1998 at Babington House where they began doing spa services in a former working cowshed, hence the name. Soho House Founder and CEO Nick Jones couldn’t find the right product on the market to use in the spa, so he decided to create his own range of natural products and the product line was born.

Cowshed is a British beauty and lifestyle brand with sociable grooming at its core, meaning you can come in with your girlfriends for a spa day and have a laugh, enjoy some bubbly and not worry about being quiet. It is also a relaxing and rejuvenating space where you are welcome to tune out and de-stress with our personal, wireless headsets and retro televisions.

DM: Tell us about Cowshed’s signature services and products.

Christina: All of our signature treatments use the Cowshed product line, which is 100% natural and uses 100% pure essential oils. The products are also all made in England, which keeps us true to our British heritage. Signature treatments include the Cowshed Facial, Cowshed Moody Massage and the Cowshed Pedicure.

All of our signature treatments use the Cowshed product line, which is 100% natural and uses 100% pure essential oils.

Our pedicures really set us apart because of the special drill we use to exfoliate the feet. We brought it over from the UK and it is a perfect cylinder so it exfoliates the feet without hurting the skin. It makes our pedicures last longer and your feet feel baby soft.

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DM: It’s hard to choose if you want to relax or reenergize during a spa visit. As busy women —especially us moms — we tend to want both. Tell us more about the spa services that target a little bit of each.

Christina: I am also a mother so I can absolutely relate and I think all Cowshed treatments offer a bit of both the relaxation and rejuvenation factors. Whether it’s our Cowshed moody massage where you can choose from one of six moods such as knackered, wild, lazy, grumpy, etc., to match your own state of mind, or our Salt Scrub that exfoliates the body with peppermint oil, or our mani-pedi to make you feel polished and ready to conquer the day ahead, I think the key is making the time for yourself to feel good.

I think women love the Cowshed lifestyle. It’s very approachable and offers a high quality product from the treatments to the product line. It’s a very thoughtful product line and lifestyle and I think that really resonates with women.

DM: We love your ‘home away from home’ aesthetic. Please share your reasoning behind it and what makes your spa’s vibe so unique.

Christina: Cowshed is designed for our sociable grooming lifestyle, creating a cozy, welcoming space where everyone feels comfortable and relaxed. The combination of the reclaimed Midwestern barn wood with the crystal chandeliers offers a rustic yet luxurious vibe and furniture pieces like the tufted sofa in French blue, the leather wingback chairs for mani/pedis and colorful lounge seating in the dressing areas creates that home away from home feeling.

Images courtesy of Cowshed

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Why Disappointments Don’t Defeat Us http://darlingmagazine.org/why-disappointments-dont-defeat/ http://darlingmagazine.org/why-disappointments-dont-defeat/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:00:01 +0000 Davida Ander http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20403 Sometimes, things work out. You get a job, you get promoted, you score a date, you win a client, you hit the jackpot. Other times, well, things don’t go quite...

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Sometimes, things work out. You get a job, you get promoted, you score a date, you win a client, you hit the jackpot.

Other times, well, things don’t go quite as planned.

This past summer I signed up for a half-marathon training group. I had it all mapped out. I would run four times a week, train rigorously, and on race day I would cross the finish line in two hours flat. Little did I know that things were destined to turn out differently. Two months into training after a long, slow run, my knee gave out. The next day I could hardly walk. My entire upper leg was sore and I had a searing pain in my knee. Over the coming weeks the truth sunk in: no more race, no more running, no more victory.

COPE2

Your own disappointment may come in the form of a breakup, a cancelled vacation, an unplanned sickness or an unforeseen rejection. Whatever it may be, you’ve hit a setback and now you’re stuck.

When things don’t go as planned, here’s how to move forward:

Be Mad & Miserable
It sucks. It really sucks. You’re bummed. You’re glum, and there’s no denying that you are furious. You had your heart set on something and now it feels like your life is in shambles. It’s ok. It’s healthy to acknowledge your true emotions rather than fighting them back or pretending they don’t exist. If you need to mope around, complain or cry, do that … for a little while.

Move On
There is only so long that you can sit and stew in the muck. If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re sick of obsessively churning the details over and over in your head, you know it’s time to move on. It can help to shift your thinking and put things in perspective. Could there be another opportunity in the future for you? Is there a way your experience could work out for the better? Give yourself the permission to dream again. Start researching what could be next rather than obsessing over what wasn’t.

Get Motivated Again
Once you start dreaming, set your sights on that something new. Something completely different. What excites you? Define it. Do something that brings you to a different place and that moves you out of your old mentality. When you move forward, even in small steps, your setback will move to the back of your mind. It will slowly begin to loose the power it once had.

Since my injury I’ve started thinking about tackling a swimming race and rejoining an ultimate Frisbee league (when my injury heals, of course). At some point in the future, I would like to train for a half-marathon again. My hopes have not been dampened for good.

If you’ve been caught off-guard by an unexpected change of events, it may be time to make peace and move on. You never know what amazing accomplishments may be waiting just around the bend.

When has a disappointment in your life led to something unexpectedly better?

Image via Chelsie Autumn Photography

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Darling Dinner No. 8: A Recap http://darlingmagazine.org/darling-dinner-8-recap/ http://darlingmagazine.org/darling-dinner-8-recap/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:00:59 +0000 Darling Magazine http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20765 Every Darling Dinner serves as a reminder of what is good and necessary in this life: intention, honesty and community. We never tire of hearing these personal recounts of nights...

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Every Darling Dinner serves as a reminder of what is good and necessary in this life: intention, honesty and community. We never tire of hearing these personal recounts of nights crowded around the table, diving into delicious cuisine, and finding a familiar voice amongst those we might have never had the chance to meet otherwise.

From attendee Kayla Sampson:

I have always loved everything that Darling represents. A few years ago one of my best friends bought me my first issue for my birthday and it was love at first sight. There is a realness that resonates in every piece of Darling work that is put out. Their words are always filled with a refreshing authenticity which is so necessary in our world today.

Darling Dinners are an interactive way to experience the authenticity and realness that the Darling movement represents. The structure of the evening is so simple with just two elements, food and conversation. The outcome, however, is something very profound and beautiful.

Under stringed market lights in the prettiest loft I’ve ever seen, I shared a meal with a group of strangers and yet, by the end of the night, I felt as though I was amongst friends. There is something so beautiful and powerful about the act of gathering together around a full table. We enjoyed the most amazing spread of fall themed dishes paired with perfect wines all prepared by the ever so talented Theresa Pollard.

I shared a meal with a group of strangers and yet, by the end of the night, I felt as though I was amongst friends.

As we enjoyed this amazing meal we began our table topics for the evening by going around the table answering the following two questions:

Q1. Our thoughts are some of our most powerful tools, yet all too often we use them in ways that set us back. How can we change our thoughts to be actively using them as a mantra, to help us become who we want to be? 

Q2. We can’t throw away our past, but we can move forward. How can we take the lessons we’ve learned from our failures, mistakes and triumphs, and integrate them wisely into our futures?

The girls began to dive in to these questions and I was so stunned and blessed by the absolute sincerity of their responses. Within moments any barriers that we walked into the room with had lost their power over us as we put our guards down and talked “real talk.” We openly shared stories, memories and beliefs. Immediately, I began to feel a sense of true community. These beautiful women each had a unique perspective on the questions asked and yet there were so many common themes in the responses. We came to a joint conclusion that comparison is truly the thief of joy and that our past does not define our future.

… so often we settle for small talk as though that is all we have time for …

I left this night feeling so encouraged knowing that I am not alone. Up and down the table, I heard familiar stories of pains I had personally experienced and challenges that I could so relate to. After a slew of encouraging words and inspirational stories, I felt so inspired and filled with hope. We live in such a fast paced society, a busy realm that so often feels like one big blur. I feel like so often we settle for small talk as though that is all we have time for, constantly rushing on to the next thing.

This night was a reminder to me of the importance of slowing down, being present and truly investing in the people that are in your life in this current season and Darling Dinners give you an opportunity to do just that.

Haven’t been to a dinner yet? Check our events calendar here to see how you can sign up for the next one!

Photography by Esther Lee

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Rainbow Chard + Sage Chicken Pie http://darlingmagazine.org/rainbow-chard-sage-chicken-pie/ http://darlingmagazine.org/rainbow-chard-sage-chicken-pie/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:00:49 +0000 Cassie Winslow http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20548 Spending time in the kitchen around the holidays is a blast, yet it can be quite time consuming especially when you are making multiple dishes. This pie is incredibly decadent,...

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Spending time in the kitchen around the holidays is a blast, yet it can be quite time consuming especially when you are making multiple dishes. This pie is incredibly decadent, a fun alternative to the usual holiday spread and is truly a one dish wonder.

Rainbow Chard and Sage Chicken PIe

Simply place this dish in the oven when your company arrives and spend time entertaining while it’s baking. Serve warm with a handful of arugula spritzed with lemon juice and a glass of white Burgundy or a lavender lemonade + gin cocktail.

Rainbow Chard + Sage Chicken Pie

Ingredients:
Pie crust (recipe below)
2 organic chicken breasts and thighs
3 tablespoons raw or organic unsalted butter, divided
About 3 cups of organic chicken broth
4 organic sage leaves
1 cup chopped organic rainbow chard
¼ cup organic all-purpose flour
¼ cup organic cream or half+half
1 organic egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Make the crust (see recipe below) and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until browned, about 10 minutes; transfer to plate. Pour two tablespoons of the remaining fat from the pot into bowl. When chicken has cooled, remove and discard skin. Add chicken broth, chicken, and sage to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, for about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to bowl. Add chard and mix. Allow mixture to cool then shred chicken, discarding bones. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and reserve.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat butter and reserved fat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in 2 cups reserved broth and half and half or cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce until thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine 1 cup sauce with shredded chicken and chard mixture. You can reserve the remaining sauce for serving.

Place chicken and chard mixture in the dough-lined pie plate and spread into an even layer. Top with second dough round, leaving at least ½-inch overhang all around. Fold dough and seal edges using your thumb and forefinger. Cut about 4 slits on the top of the pie. Evenly brush pie with egg wash, making sure the wash doesn’t pool. Place on lower rack in oven. Bake until top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until crust is a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Allow the pie to cool for about 1 hour before serving.

Rainbow Chard + Sage Chicken Pie

Pie Crust
(Makes enough for one pie using a 9″ ceramic dish.)

Ingredients:
2 ¾ cup organic all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of cold-cold-cold butter cut into ½ inch cubes
½ cup ice cold water

Directions:
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulsing a few times. Add the cubes of butter. Mix for another 10 seconds. Add the cold water in a slow stream until a ball of dough begins to form. Place the dough on a work surface sprinkled with flour and form into two disks. Handle the dough as little as possible — this results in it being a super flaky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, then back to the work surface. Roll out both disks to about 10 inches. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

If you prefer sticking with tradition, feel free to use some leftover turkey in place of the shredded chicken. The pie will be just as tasty. Add in some Sour Cherry + Floral Sugar Ice Cream for a lovely dessert and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Images via Cassie Winslow

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Oh, To Be Brave http://darlingmagazine.org/oh-to-be-brave/ http://darlingmagazine.org/oh-to-be-brave/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:00:57 +0000 Annelise Jolley http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20754 Knights, martyrs, soldiers, activists, and daredevils. Titles like these remind us of bravery. As a caricature, courage might look like a hunting, smoking, whiskey-swilling Hemingway. But what about the modern...

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Knights, martyrs, soldiers, activists, and daredevils. Titles like these remind us of bravery. As a caricature, courage might look like a hunting, smoking, whiskey-swilling Hemingway. But what about the modern woman? How do you learn a character of bravery, you who seek a life of sincere relationships, holistic beauty, and honest exploration?

SMALLACTS2

Our definition of courage matures as we do. As children, the ones who spoke their minds were brave. Later, we believed that our brave peers were the impulsive ones, the risk-takers. Whatever our definition of courage is founded on, we often make the mistake of believing that courageous people are fearless. How silly, though. If you don’t fear heights, you don’t need courage to cross a thousand-foot-high suspension bridge. Courage only exists where there is fear.

One of the best examples of bravery I’ve seen is in a man I never met. He lived down the street from the house where I grew up, and every afternoon he walked up and down a nearby hill. Sometimes I would drive by and catch a glimpse of his slow process. He had suffered a stroke and the walks were not leisurely, but they were a literal uphill battle against his body’s rebellion. Unresponsive legs dragged beneath him as he concentrated on setting one crutch in front of the other. Over many years of these rehabilitating walks, his condition never changed.

Courage only exists where there is fear.

I’ve been thinking about him lately and his defiance toward surrender. In retrospect, his journey up and down the hill is emblematic of courage. There was no promise he would get better – in fact, the hill always seemed strenuous for his post-stroke body. So I can only assume he didn’t walk to reach a victorious end but to simply continue taking small, brave steps.

Courage means more to us as we grow older, and that’s because we really begin to need it. Pain and fear are par for the course growing up; the world breaks in through our childish idealism and we experience doubt, anxiety, and shadowy uncertainty. The self-protective parts of me wish I didn’t have to experience weakness to be brave, because being broken is an awful thing to feel. Yet, when things get hard, courage wakes up.

Today, I see bravery as the uphill battles we fight every day. I’m reminded of this as I watch close friends doing hard things this year, overcoming monsters and saying yes to a better-but-still-unclear future. They’re living with courage the best way one can: through small acts every day. By making daily choices that nudge us toward better versions of ourselves, we build a character of courage and move toward the people we were created to be. By saying no to comfort and stepping forward into fresh air, we reject fear and surrender.

… there might be no one watching your small victories or recognizing your incremental efforts. But it’s worth it.

Courage is paying attention to your inner compass and then following where it points. Who are you? More importantly, who are you becoming? Through daily steps in the same direction we shape a character of integrity and boldness. This process of becoming isn’t glamorous, and there might be no one watching your small victories or recognizing your incremental efforts. But it’s worth it. Staying away from things that fuel your addiction is worth it. Choosing to be alone rather than staying in a stagnant relationship is worth it. Actively turning yourself toward the truth and away from comparison and insecurity is worth it.

As you take these steps, recognize that courage does not come easy or cheap. It comes when we feel very scared and small. But also recognize that there is nothing more freeing than losing our self-protective impulses and recovering the ability to look outward and upward. As you look outside yourself, you’ll catch a glimpse of the brighter future that exists when we allow our courage to rise up in proportion to our fear.

One day, you’ll look back on who you are now and be proud of how far you’ve journeyed. Maybe right now a courageous character seems out of reach or maybe you’re looking ahead at tasks that seem too big for you. You will get there. Take heart. Small steps can take you miles.

What’s one small act of bravery you can do today? 

Image via Irina Munteanu

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In Defense Of Carbohydrates http://darlingmagazine.org/in-defense-of-carbohydrates/ http://darlingmagazine.org/in-defense-of-carbohydrates/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:00:59 +0000 Amanda Kozimor-Perrin MS, RDN http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20544 Carbohydrates. To some, this is a word that invokes happiness, while in others it invokes complete disdain. Over the past few years carbs have gotten a really bad reputation, yet...

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Carbohydrates. To some, this is a word that invokes happiness, while in others it invokes complete disdain.

carbs

Over the past few years carbs have gotten a really bad reputation, yet it wasn’t until a friend came to me with a question that pushed me to finally stand up and fight for them. My friend enjoys eating a banana in the evening and told this to another friend of hers. Her response was: “You have to stop doing that! Bananas are full of starch and will make you fat.” WHAT? Thankfully, my friend didn’t think this sounded right and asked me to clear the air. So, with that I said: “No, bananas will not ‘make you fat.’”

When did this shift in carbs being bad for you happen? Carbohydrates are actually incredibly vital to the body working correctly. The brain functions on glucose, which is the derivative of carbs. That means if you are eliminating carbs from your diet, then you are depriving your brain and forcing your body to convert other molecules into forms of energy it can use. Also, when you are working out or being active, carbs are your muscles’ main source of fuel. So if you want to run longer, bike further, do barre better, or push harder in a sport, you have to have a store of carbs in your muscles. This isn’t just limited to the endurance athlete; it affects those that want to build muscle, too.

… if you are eliminating carbs from your diet, then you are depriving your brain [of glucose] and forcing your body to convert other molecules into forms of energy it can use.

To have the best outcome of building protein you need to have an insulin response post-workout, and that comes from pairing carbs with protein. People who eat carbs at a moderate level have also been shown to be happier than those that follow a low carb diet, and choices higher in fiber have been shown to help with weight maintenance.

We can see our bodies’ need for carbohydrates. So are carbs really the bad guy? Or could it be the food choices and food industry of today? When high fat diets were found to be associated with heart disease, the governing entities decided that we needed to eat a lower fat diet. This shifted the overall percentage of each food group with fat being decreased and carbohydrates being increased. This also shifted how food was made. When you remove fat from a food item you lose a lot of flavor. The food industry’s answer to this was to add a cheap sugar derivative to foods that would make them taste good and appeal to this lower fat diet.

We’re now seeing the outcome of this choice. Overweight and obesity are more of an issue today than ever before and this has lead to many proclaiming that low carb diets are the answer to all things health related. Rather than seeing the real issue — how food is made and what we’re choosing to put in our bodies — we try and single out a food group to achieve a quick fix. We also need to remember that low carb diets or gluten free diets were designed for individuals suffering from specific medical conditions like epilepsy, celiac disease, or severe obesity. They weren’t intended for healthy, normal-weight individuals.

So, remember that carbohydrates are actually good for us — especially when the holiday season is upon us! We shouldn’t have to miss out on food because it doesn’t fit in with our low carb diet of the day. However, there are definitely better carb choices than others that we should be aware of.

Here are some suggestions for healthy sources of carbohydrates:

Great Grains
The great grains we should eat more of are quinoa, farro, brown rice, bulgar, and oats. These are great additions to the diet and provide a great source of carbohydrates. Try adding these to a salad of your choice or making a unique side dish with a twist.

Legumes
Beans, or legumes, are a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Recipes containing legumes like black beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans are a great replacement for the more starchy carbohydrate, potatoes.

In The Garden
Fruits and vegetables should still be the base of all of our diets. Bananas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, squash, and carrots are all good sources of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. We also can’t forget about all the other nutrients that fruits and vegetables provide and focus just on carbohydrates.

Bread
Anytime you mention carbs the brain automatically goes to bread. Bread doesn’t make you fat, but it also shouldn’t be our main source of nutrition. Remember that there are many different forms of food to get our carbs from and they don’t always have to be found in the bread aisle. When you do choose to have bread, choose a whole grain variety that is higher in fiber.

The first hurdle we have to get over when dealing with food is knowledge and the second is finding balance.

Even with these better carb choices, we need to remember this word: moderation. The first hurdle we have to get over when dealing with food is knowledge and the second is finding balance. Even though carbs are good for us, we have to remember that we can’t have only carb filled meals – even if that’s what some of us want! Balance and moderation are the keys to a healthy lifestyle, which remains in play even during the holidays.

Image via Ana Kamin

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Outdoor Harvest Inspiration http://darlingmagazine.org/outdoor-harvest-inspiration/ http://darlingmagazine.org/outdoor-harvest-inspiration/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:00:17 +0000 Conni Jespersen http://darlingmagazine.org/?p=20681 Autumn is the perfect time to gather outdoors, wool blankets on hand, a delightful seasonal menu ready and friends at your side to reminisce on the changing of the seasons....

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Autumn is the perfect time to gather outdoors, wool blankets on hand, a delightful seasonal menu ready and friends at your side to reminisce on the changing of the seasons. The inspiration of autumn and the changing leaves of fall beckon us outdoors despite the subtle chill in the air. If you’re hoping to use this as a time to get friends together, a harvest gathering is the perfect backdrop for a nature-inspired dinner party.

To plan your harvest gathering, use the outdoors as inspiration. Burnt orange, deep yellows, and mellow reds and browns will create a beautiful color palette from which to decorate, develop a menu, and even create small DIY’s for that special seasonal touch. Integrate these colors into the tabletop with local florals, various fabrics such as leather for the place settings, velvet (or similar fabric) for a runner, and cloth cotton for napkins. Use household items such as various pillows and blankets of wool and cotton to create a warm, cozy table setting.

Utilize your handy work (or that of a creative friend) and hand write or calligraphy personalized place cards and menus as souvenirs for guests to remember the special details of the evening. With a warm, inviting environment and blankets to stave off the chilly autumn air, your guests will enjoy the company, creative touches and beautiful surroundings of a lovely harvest night.

Classic Butternut Squash Soup (Adapted from Whole Foods Market)

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in an upright blender.

Quick DIY Yarn Pendent Banner (Adapted from Art in the Find)

You’ll Need:
2-3 various colors of yarn
Wood or sticks of varied lengths
Scissors

Steps:
1. Start with whichever color yarn you prefer, pulling yarn in stripes making arms-length loops, counting to 20.  Using scissors, cut off the yarn at the end, and then fold yarn over into a U shape.

2. Lay the top of the U shaped yarn over the middle of the stick and loop the ends under the stick and through the U.  Pull to tighten.  Continue this step using different colored yarn to create a color ombre effect.

3. Keep adding color to your DIY Pendant Banner by repeating step 3 until you have your desired results or you reach the end of the stick!

4. Create a wall fastener out of a piece of the yarn string and tie it at both ends of the stick, loose enough to allow for the Pendant Banner to hang down 7-10 inches or so.

5. Using scissors, cut a “V” by starting in center of the yarn and diagonally working your way out to the edges

Images via Katie Beverly Photography; Florals via Compass Florals; Calligraphy via Twinkle and Toast; Table rental via Adore Folklore rentals; Dinnerware via West Elm (San Diego); Styling & Inspiration by Conni Jespersen of Art in the Find Styling

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